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 Post subject: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:32 am 
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Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, facing assured defeat of his government went to visit the Governor General and got parliament suspended or " prorogued " This means that the opposition parties who banded together cannot defeat his government at this time. They will have to wait until the New Year.

In the meantime, Harper gets another chance to put another budget together, hopefully, crafting something that will please the opposition parties. He does not want to go down to defeat and allow the Coalition to govern Canada. This is Harper's method of buying time and getting out of a very dicey situation and a sure downfall of this government. The reason the crisis developed in the first place was on account of Harper's intentions on how he would govern. He was going to deny some public servants the right to strike as well as denying the opposition parties public funds. The opposition parties, known as the Coalition claim that the government is not doing enough for the economy and should be providing more stimulus for the economy, especially as Canada is heading into a recession just like the rest of the world. Many commentators feel however, that the main reason for the anger of the opposition parties is the " under handed " manner in which the opposition learned about their not getting public funding. Harper is effectively trying to kill his opponents and any threat to his bid for majority rule.

From the National Post newspaper, here is an article explaining the latest developments:

OTTAWA -- Parliament was suspended midday Thursday after Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean agreed to a request from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to interrupt the session, a decision that means his government has staved off certain defeat in a non-confidence vote scheduled for next week.

Full article here:
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1031324

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:12 am 
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Thank you for the post. I knew about the suspension of Parliament but didn't know the reason.

Makes sense now.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:11 am 
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Yes, indeed. Harper is a very devisive figure on the Canadian political scene. During this current crisis he went overboard in his condemnation of the Bloc. This is the group of Quebeckers whose avowed goal is the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada. They have a large block of seats in the House of Commons and have sided with the Coalition in order to defeat Harper. Harper, true to his character bad mouthed this group, and in the process, further alienated the people of Quebec and may possibly have caused great harm to the cause of national unity. The fact that these people are " separatists " should not be the issue here. Remember, they are still Canadians these Bloc representatives are, not members of some foreign country. Canadian citizens ( Quebeckers are still Canadian citizens ) who have a stake in the Canadian political process. During the last election in which Harper was only able to achieve another minority government he alienated the voters of Quebec by some of the things that he said. That might have cost him the majority government that he was seeking.

Harper is an embarrassment to me as a leader and is only causing Canada harm by bad mouthing these Bloc members. Most people do not realize that when the Liberals were in a minority government position before Harper came to power, that Harper himself tried to allign himself with the Bloc members in order to topple the Liberal government. So, Harper is quite a two faced political animal. He is only interested in majority government and will do just about anything to achieve it, including attacking things that are important to the very survival of his political opponents. If this is not enough for you to dislike Harper consider the fact that Bush and Harper are buddies. Harper even wanted Canada to be involved in the Iraq War. But, the prime minister at the time, Jean Chretien ( a Liberal ) knew better than to get Canada involved in that totally illegal and unjust war of aggression. So, Harper is plainly bad news once you start to learn about him and what he represents and how he acts.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:42 am 
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I had heard Harper and Bush are buddies. That was enough to make me dislike him, and certainly not trust him. But I didn't realize how far he went to get into power.

Yes, talk about two faced!

Isn't the reason Canada has two official languages because the people in Quebec are of French ancestry? I always wondered why people in the States insist we only have English as an official language. Are we counting on the dumbing down of Americans here too? We have so many Spanish speaking citizens here, why do we not have English / Spanish as our official languages?

But then, we wouldn't want to be as educated as Canadians, would we!

I love your input about what is happening in the Canadian political scene. Even our weather maps here don't show Canada. Guess our flat earth drops off at the Canadian line.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:44 am 
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Yes Dori there really are differences between Canada and the U.S. I believe the U.S. if often referred to as a giant melting pot where everyone ends up being an American, whatever being an American means of course. Canada, on the other hand can be thought of as being a more muti-cultural nation where the broad swaths of the various ethnic and other cultures can be enjoyed while at the same everyone still thinks of themselves as being Canadian. Again, whatever that means to the individual. I think it is a quite a good system personally and I maintain many good friendships with people from other lands who have become Canadians.

The Quebec thing is always in the background in Canada. Every once in a while the separatist issue flares up and there is talk out of Quebec about separating and being one country. This has been devisive for Canadian unity and can affect the political and the financial markets in a negative way. Separation issues seem to have died down as of late, but now may be coming storming back as a result of Harper trying to hang on to power, and using the Bloc as a punching bag in the process.

Harper has said some really devisive things lately against the Bloc. Like they are not real Canadians and that they are only trying to extract gains from Canadians by allying themselves with the Coalition. Harper is just a loser because he could not make any gains in the Province of Quebec during the last election. That cost him a majority government. And, now he has brought upon this unnecessay consititutional crisis and is dividing Canadians all across the country. And, he is doing it at a vey bad time, a time of impending economic crisis, here and around the world.

Here is a decent little video explaining some of the finer points of the constitutionality of what is going on and what the options are. There is a real debate going on here as to the legitimacy of the Bloc and whether Harper is doing the right thing or not. It is all entirely political of course, and when you read the papers you will see how divided people are. You either support Harper and bid to to stay in power or you do not. That is why this is a real crisis, one that has now involved the Governor General and caused democracy and government to cease in Canada until January of next year.

Video here:

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blog ... anada.aspx

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:00 am 
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It takes forever for me to download a video, but I did read comments. Wow! Yes, passions are running high!

And Harper thinks this is going to help him?

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:29 am 
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Dori,

Dion has just been purged and it looks like some guy name Ignatieff will lead the Liberal Party against Harper. I really do not know much about Ignatieff. He ran in the last Liberal leadership race and lost to Dion. Dion was a huge disappointment for everyone since he lost against Harper in the last election.

It looks like Harper might be coming out of this better than a lot of people expected. Parliament will not reconvene until January, but it looks like cooler heads are prevailing now. Ignatieff is famous for saying something like: Coalition if necessary, but necessarily Coalition. So, that is quite a political stance as you can see. I was reading where a couple of Liberal MPs are having their doubts about the Coalition thing, so that might the end of the whole thing. Harper will be coming back in January and you can be sure that he will not be proposing anything that will upset the Opposition. It looks like he has learned a real lesson here. Although still a strong force for coalition, this could very well be the end of the whole thing. But, it is still a fluid situation of course and we really do not know much about this Ignatieff character. Well, I certainly do not know much about him or his character, ideas, and policies. I am just looking for a viable alternative to Harper that is all. BTW. That National Post newspaper is quite a right wing rag, and committed Harper supporter. Although a couple of the writers on the paper have written somewhat sympathetic articles going against the Harper juggernaut. He is generally perceived as their boy, however. The paper, that is.

A related article here:

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blog ... ation.aspx

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:57 am 
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Looks like there is as much difference between opinions in Canada as there is here, it is just that we have only two choices and you have more.

From the comments I did get the idea people posting didn't care much for either Dion or Ignatieff. Of course if they are Harper fans, that would explain it.

We hear so little in the U.S. about anything happening in Canada, it is good to have your posts. I used to keep up but don't have access like I used to. Thanks for posting about the Canadian perspective on your own country and it's politics. This is very interesting!

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:21 am 
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Yes, indeed. Things are changing and stabilizing now. I think all of the actors realize that politics has to take second place to the problems that the economy is going to thrust upon us. There is talk now that Harper will have to produce more stimuli in his budget as things are expected to deteriorate here as in the States. And, it looks like both countries are going to have to provide some kind of relief for the auto industry as well, even if they do not want to. There are just too many people and jobs involved I suppose to not inject some money into the domestic auto industry. The economy is clearly the number one thing on everyone's mind, as in the States.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:31 am 
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Do you know what auto companies operate in Canada? I don't. I do know the states have foreign companies making autos here.

We have more of a global economy than we hoped for, don't we! But the economy is hurting all over the world. So far it doesn't seem to have been helpful for countries who have nothing, yet it has lowered the standard of living in the U.S. How about Canada?

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:06 pm 
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Canada has a branch plant economy here re domestic autos. They have had, until recently, a pretty good thing going. Canada produces these domestics here, just like in the States, and the big market for Canada is the United States. But, this market is deteriorating now as the market share for domestics is going down hill. That is why this bailout is so important to the auto workers in Canada. The politicians realize its importance, but there is a reluctance to supply money to these manufacturers, just like in the States. But, it is a political issue and must be dealt with. The House in the States supports a bailout package, but it looks like the Senate might not cooperate, so there is still some risk there for the auto companies.

In Canada, this debate will take place as well and I think there is more support here than in the States. I just read something where Mexico is going to be producing more cars than Canada as a consequence of this Free Trade business. Money always seems to go where the cheap labour is now doesn't it? Anyhow, just like in the States Canada has the import plants as well, like Honda and Toyota. So, I guess this is where the future is anyway, if the domestics cannot get their act together and produce something that the population will be more willing to buy. I consider this bailout business to be a real opportunity for the domestic producers in Canada and the States to reinvent their autos and make them more fuel efficient and hence, more competitive. That should be the only rationale for a bailout. I am just wondering, however, if characters like Republican Shelby from Alabama want to kill the bailout package because his state has import manufacturers that produce vehicles with non union labour. Nothing is accomplished without some poltical consideration it would seem.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:05 am 
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Quote:
I am just wondering, however, if characters like Republican Shelby from Alabama want to kill the bailout package because his state has import manufacturers that produce vehicles with non union labour.


According to what Olbermann said on his show, that is exactly the reason. It doesn't even have to do with pay because the pay for the companies in his state is not much different from the big 3. It is totally to crush the unions.

They could succeed, after all, who wants to pay union dues if you are not going to get job security or perks for doing so?

But where did the middle class come from if it were not for good paying jobs that a person could count on being there?

Rs, as far as I am concerned, unAmerican!

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:30 am 
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Globalization and everything that it stands for has killed the middle class in America. And, if they had their way they would do the same thing to Canada. The country is falling apart, but they still have time for politics and to find money for their friends.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Harper gets a reprieve
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:25 am 
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Sad picture, isn't it. And when looked at closely, we brought it on ourselves.

I hope Canadians will do better at fending this off. You have more class up there, good luck.

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